The existence of inadequate and disadvantaged bone in the maxilla or/and the mandible, could be a result of trauma, oncologic surgical operation, or long-term use of dentures. The improvement of either the quality as well as of the quantity of the osseous substrate of the jaws, could be accomplished either by harvesting of autologous bone grafts (i.e. from the patient himself), or with alloplastic (synthetic) bone substitutes. Skin grafts also, and ameliorative modifications of the soft tissues, could be applied for the improvement of the architecture and the topographic anatomy of the intraoral soft tissues (e.g. deepening of the labial groove, floor of the mouth etc.). With reconstructive preprosthetic surgery the creation of a stable substrate is accomplished either regarding the hard tissues or the soft intraoral tissues, so that the optimum functional and esthetic result of any dental rehabilitation is ensured with the application of artificial dentures, which is directly reflected in the performance of basic functions such as mastication and speech.
Millions of people in the entire world suffer from the loss of their teeth . Osseointegrated dental implants, a sort of artificial dental roots, constitute an excellent alternative solution, replacing the missing natural teeth, if the appropriate choice of patients-recipients is made.
Dental implants are made of biomaterials (e.g. titanium), which are absolutely biocompatible with the human bone and the rest of the overall tissues. Small transmucosal props connected with the implants, function as stable abutments for the fabrication of artificial teeth, either in the form of fixed prosthetic rehabilitation (e.g. crowns, bridges etc.), or in the form of overdentures. Working along with the dentist-prosthodontist, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon places initially the implants in the jaw bones, along with bone grafts when this is necessary, and then the prosthodontist proceeds to the fabrication of the prosthetic rehabilitation which is mounted on the implants. Implants except for the retention of intraoral prostheses, could be also used for the application of extraoral prostheses (e.g. artificial nose, ears etc.), particularly in oncologic and in trauma patients, where the respective deficits result after surgical operation or injury.